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Portfolio allocation by Wednesday: Maha CM

The expanded council comprises 26 ministers of Cabinet and 10 others with the Ministers of State (MOS) rank

Mumbai: Hours after carrying out the much-awaited expansion of his Cabinet, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday evening said that allocation of portfolios would be done in a "day or two".

Talking to reporters after attending a Cabinet meeting, Thackeray said, "allocation of portfolios would be done by tomorrow (Tuesday) or a day after (Wednesday)".

When asked about Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari reprimanding Congress leader K C Padvi in the midst of the oath-taking ceremony at the Vidhan Bhavan here, Thackeray sought to downplay the incident.

"The governor might wanted to follow the rules and protocol," the CM said.

Speaking on a controversy over some objectionable graffiti defacing the walls of Maharashtra Chief Minister's official residence 'Varsha' in Malabar Hill, Thackeray said, "those who want to paint the walls can do so, but we will prove ourselves with our work".

Recently, certain pro-BJP scribblings were found on the walls of the bungalow.

The expanded council comprises 26 ministers of Cabinet and 10 others with the Ministers of State (MOS) rank.

Apart from the opposition BJP, senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut also didn't attend the much-awaited swearing-in ceremony of new ministers in the Uddhav Thackeray-led government on Monday.

While the BJP cited the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government's "failure" in keeping the promises made to farmers by its leaders as the reason to not attend the "extravagant" event at Vidhan Bhavan here, the reason for Raut's absence cannot be confirmed. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has expanded his council of ministers by inducting 26 Cabinet and 10 ministers of state, including NCP leader Ajit Pawar who was sworn in as deputy chief minister.

"This government has not fulfilled the expectations of farmers in the state. We do not feel like attending such an extravagant ceremony," a BJP leader said. Another BJP leader said there was no need to attend the expansion of Cabinet since senior leaders of the party had attended the swearing-in ceremony of Thackeray as chief minister at the Shivaji Park in Dadar on November 28.

Absence of Raut, who has been articulating the Sena's aggressive stand since the results of the assembly elections were declared on October 24, however, seems intriguing.

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